A lot of factors came into play in the Boston Celtics’ Game 1 pounding of defending Eastern Conference champions Cleveland Cavaliers. There has been a significant amount of finger-pointing and perhaps none more towards Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue.
For the most part, it would be unfair to pin the blame on the 41-year-old, but there appears to be one specific coaching error that Lue is guilty of. According to the numbers compiled by Robby Kalland in his piece for Uproxx’s Dime Magazine the fact that the Cavs head coach insists on playing a particular combination of players has become a major aspect in the poor performance of his squad.
Per Kalland, the on-court combination of Jordan Clarkson, rodney hood, and Jeff Green always leads to catastrophe. Although all three are individually-gifted athletes that play a crucial role for the team, having them together on the floor at the same time has been problematic, to say the least.
Lue has used this three-man combination in the post-season for an average of 10 minutes per ballgame. That’s almost a full quarter and when you look at their -19.2 net rating as a trio, it would be hard to argue against the critics. Combined, these three players average a dismal .381 field goal percentage this post-season.
Lue will need to go back to his drawing board as he prepares for Game 2 of this best-of-seven series. After suffering a heavy 25-point defeat in the hands of the surging Celtics, something has got to change. Perhaps the former NBA champion head coach ought to start with rethinking his player rotation and personnel combinations.